With the entire nation gearing up to transition, redesign and reconstruct a sustainable zero-carbon energy future, you may be tempted to put on sunglasses when looking at the bright horizon that is renewable energy. Solar and wind power continue to take center stage for Bridgelink Engineering with projects popping up at awe-inspiring rates throughout the country. Industry leaders and government officials alike are planning and restructuring current energy standards to meet the high demands of a net-zero future in support of our government’s goal of 100% carbon-free power by 2035. As solar and wind turbine farms become more common in all states, the need to upgrade the electrical grid becomes increasingly critical in order to support these new sustainability guidelines.
The U.S. electricity grid is a complex system that consists of transmission lines to swiftly carry energy over long distances. Power plants, substations and distribution systems then transport this energy to individuals and businesses across the nation. Service providers, manufacturers and officials at both the federal and state level work together to efficiently provide reliable electricity service to the American population.
However, our aging grid is pressed to its limits as it attempts to accommodate the mixed energy needs of today. Current energy demands outpace what the existing infrastructure was originally intended to handle, with an estimated 60% having surpassed their 50-year life expectancy. Our nation has the immediate need to build a modern grid that can properly accommodate the electricity requirements of a cleaner, greener future.
The strategic revitalization of the grid network itself will help meet the increased demands of a zero-carbon power future, reduce energy disruptions, create an enhanced network that responds faster and more readily to change and aid in more efficient natural disaster response through the implementation of technologies such as micro-grids. Even so, this grid glow-up goes far beyond just the necessity to keep the electricity flowing to homes and businesses. It will also allow for increased buffering against malevolent threats, assist in the reduction of energy bills for Americans across the board and provide support to the growing number of electric vehicles and their charging stations.
This modernization will require development and research support through investments in energy infrastructure. Without the estimated $27 billion needed to meet our nation’s sustainability goals, new renewable energy development may be stalled by the grid infrastructure required for clean energy projects.